Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
It was the long war, with its massive casualties, huge demand for materials, and massive influence on technologies that laid the ground for the rise of labour as a force (both political and revolutionary), and for the influence of demagogues from the lower classes of society, including Hitler and Mussolini.
That's interesting. Socialism as a reaction to just the amount of pain the working class had to endure. Makes a lot of sense imho. I am sceptical though. Socialism was a major political force from mid 19'th century onward. While I'm sure WWI gave it a push. I wonder if this boat wasn't heading straight for the iceberg. The question was where it'll hit, rather than if.
Not so much as a reaction to the trauma, though that's part of it; More that so many were absent that those who remained - even women - realised their value. That so few of those who left for war returned home able to work only added to this.

Add to this that the security forces were badly weakened with their best men at the front; And then the fact that the class division between senior officers and the junior officers and enlisted men was made so stark at the front, causing even the more faithful to question their place in society, and the progress of labour against the establishment was at the very least hugely accelerated by the war.
Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
The development of atomic weapons may well have been significantly delayed - maybe to the 1960s or '70s - and would almost certainly have occurred in Germany. Their development during peacetime would potentially be disastrous - WWII ended with just two nukes being used in anger, and that example was sufficient to prevent WWIII, but had two or more nuclear armed states arisen without that example, a much more extensive first nuclear exchange would seem likely to have occurred.
9'th March, the fire bombing of Tokyo. Casualities 100 000
6'th August, nuclear bombing of Hioshima. Casualities 120 000
9'th August, nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. Casualities 80 000

While nuclear weapons have a huge psychological impact. We're fully able to kill people just as well with conventional means.
Not with one plane per city though. That's the real deterrent with nuclear weapons - the impossibility of preventing or mitigating the total destruction of a city. Ballistic missiles make the situation even more stark. The V2 was unstoppable, but it only carried a couple of tons of high explosives. It's the combination of the two that lets things get so scary that even the war hawks think twice.
I don't think we're out of the woods when it comes to WWIII. The rise of China seems hard to stop at the moment and Russia is taking every chance they get to grab more land.
Perhaps. But deterrence remains a factor. Nobody wants to use nukes first, knowing that to do so would lead to massive retaliation.

India and Pakistan might nuke each other in a limited exchange without causing a world war, but even there the leaders on both sides know that their personal survival is far from assured.

It's a LOT easier to order aggression that might get millions of your troops or even civilians killed, than it is to order aggression that will damage your entire nation beyond repair, and almost certainly lead to your own death, and that of your family.